"I think I need to stay at my house tonight," then tack on, "alone," when he goes to speak, presumably thinking he will be with me.
He says nothing until a couple minutes later when he pulls up beside my now fixed truck. "Why alone? I don't like it, especially with these nightmares I've been having."
I nod, knowing they freak me out a bit, too. Taking a deep breath, I just start talking. "I just… I need to be able to sleep alone, to mourn Seth by myself for one night. I need to do this for me. I love you, and it's hard to tell you why I need to be away from… well, people."
He nods, then looks at me, his face showing his sadness. "Did I do or not do something? Was I too much?"
I swallow and nod. "No, you've been great, supportive. But a little too much. I know why and I even love you more for it. I'm sorry for not saying anything sooner. It's just… I don't want to say space – I mean, I'm only asking for one night – but I need to do this."
Edward nods, "One night?"
We get out of the car and after closing mine, I wait for him to come around, knowing that he'll still want to open my truck door for me. After it's open, I hug him tightly, telling him I love him and I'll call if I need anything.
Getting in my truck, I back up and pull out of Edward's driveway. I feel bad, but I know I need just a little me-time. Telling him that I'd be okay for a few hours without him made me nervous.
On my drive, I think over things. I loved – craved – his company, yet I felt like I was suffocating. I couldn't tell him in those words, because the truth of the matter is that I don't really want to be away from him, but I had to tell him something.
Being on my own for so long has its pros and cons. I love that I'm my own person, an adult that can provide for herself without needing to lean on another person. I don't like the loneliness it's brought before and having Edward has made me more aware of how alone I was. I'm the Godmother to my best friend's children, yet I haven't seen them in close to a year, speaking a handful of times over the phone, all of which were initiated by me.
I sigh as I pull up to my house and park. The chaos of Christmas Day comes tomorrow. I love being around people, but every now and then I need a breather. The only sound I hear as I walk is the snow under my boots and an owl from above in the trees.
Unlocking the door to my humble abode, I realize, not for the first time, that it's not as humble as it once was. The ache in my chest when I don't see or hear anything from the one best friend I could always count on to make me feel better, is crushing. One day, the pain will lessen and keep getting less, but I'm not a fool to think it'll disappear quickly. Perhaps, in the future, when Edward and I move in together, whenever that comes up, we'll talk about it. Right now, though, I just need to grieve.
I step in to the dark house, flipping the hall light on as I walk and hanging my keys on the hook. When I reach the living room, I stick my hand in my pocket to get my phone out as I reach for the knob on my lamp; there's no need to basked in too much light right now. However, before my fingers even graze the dial and my phone completely out, a male voice stops me cold.
"You were supposed to die."